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Comparing The Impact Of Colonization In A Small Place, A Passage To India, And Robinson Crusoe

1105 words - 4 pages

Impact of British Colonization Exposed in A Small Place, A Passage to India, and Robinson Crusoe

British colonialism began in the early fifteen hundreds and even continues today with the British rule of the British Virgin Islands.  For centuries, literature has served as a type of historical documentation of colonization as many authors wrote about colonization from both a colonized and a colonizer's point of view. During colonization, and post-colonization, the physical environment of each colony was changed. Using references to A Small Place, A Passage to India, and Robinson Crusoe, I will provide examples of the physical changes to the colonized societies made by England and discuss the reactions of the colonized people.

Jamaica Kincade is quoted as saying "The English loved England so much they built it everywhere they went."  Kincaid writes about the feelings of the colonized society in A Small Place. While she expresses the feeling of the colonized, contrarily, she explains the ideas of the English colonizer. In this excerpt, she is describing Antigua, the place she grew up, and how the British changed it. She begins by explaining the English love England so much, whenever they went they turned it into England. She supports this idea in several ways. First, she gives examples of the street names in Antigua. On a tropical island in the Caribbean Sea, the streets have names such as Rodney, Hood, Hawkins and Drake Street all names of "English maritime criminals". Secondly, Kincaid continues with her description of High Street. This was the street where all of the colonial government buildings were located. The English had built an entire portion of the city that did not exist before their arrival. High Street consisted of the Government House with a high white wall, the Department of Treasury, Barclays Bank, a library and a post office. Finally, Kincade makes reference to the schools the British built, "You loved knowledge, and wherever you went you made sure to build a school..." (Kincade 94). Although Kincade tells us what the British built while in Antigua, she does in such a way she expresses her discontent all the while giving us the good things they did. On the contrary, in an interview with Kincade she described the library with fondness. She even expressed her discontent for her homeland because they did not attempt to rebuild the library after it had been destroyed. Kincade gives us reference to the physical changes England made while in Antigua. However, she seems to have mixed feelings toward these changes.

Another writer, E.M. Forster, also gives examples of the English built England everywhere. In his book, A Passage to India, one of the main characters, Aziz is describing Mr. Fielding's (an Englishman) house as he observes while visiting for tea. Aziz describes the high ceilings and the archways commonly associated with British architecture. He continues by describing the beautiful light blue color and the openness...

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